February 2009

Go ahead, try to *not* smile!

by DaniGirl on February 27, 2009 · 10 comments

in Lucas, Tristan

Playing with Flickr’s (relatively) new video sharing option. Aren’t baby laughs the best?

(Lucas and I had just picked up Tristan from a birthday party when we discovered that balloons are the funniest. thing. ever! The boys were laughing so hard I had to get out of the van and catch it on video.)


So you know what I’d like to do? Not today, not this year, but maybe once the boys get a little older and I have a bit of free time on my hands again?

Raise a couple of chickens in the back yard.

(waits patiently for gales of laughter to subside)

No, really! Back at the end of December, I read an article in the Citizen about the urban chicken movement, and I was intrigued. According to what I’ve read, the chickens are reasonably low maintenance, actually good for your back yard, and two hens will produce eight to ten fresh eggs a week. How cool is that? Educationally amazing for the boys, healthy for us, good for the environment, minimal effort on my part — I love the idea.

I know my mother is rolling around on the floor laughing as she’s reading about this, and Beloved – who to his credit has gone along with just about all of my schemes and capers with nary a whimper of complaint – has flat out refused to even talk about this. He hates chickens, except when they’re on the barbecue with a good coating of tandoori marinade. I admit, I’m a little creeped out by them myself. But if they were our chickens, that would be different, right?

This blog about urban chickens gives an idea of the amount of work involved:

  • Everyday: fill the food bowl, change the water, check for eggs, add wood chips to the nesting box if needed. (takes 5 minutes)
  • Twice weekly: empty the droppings out of the Eglu, very easy to do by design, thanks Omlet! (takes two minutes)
  • Weekly: clean the Eglu by rinsing and scrubbing the interior parts (20 minutes)
  • Semi-monthly: purchase 50-lb bag of layena crumbles at the feed store (cost is $12 and is worked in with other errands)

That sounds reasonable, doesn’t it? (An Eglu is a chicken coop specifically designed for urban chickens. A lot more aesthetically pleasing than your standard chicken-wire and wood coop, no?)

My only concern would be the Ottawa winters. Not chicken-friendly. Not only is it bloody cold for a bloody long time, the last time I checked there was about a foot of snow in the back yard (not to mention, erm, about three months worth of dog poop.) And even if by some stretch of the imagination I was able to convince Beloved to let me keep a couple of chickens in the back yard, there is no way on gods’ green earth that he’d let me overwinter them in the house or even the garage.

(Not to mention the tiny but insistent voice in my head that keeps yammering on about the poor, hapless house plants I bring home from the grocery store in a fit of enthusiasm every five or six months, only to neglect into withered brown stumps within a couple of weeks.)

What do you think? Excellent idea or pure folly? Would you do it?


Hey, can you believe I’ve already made it ten per cent of the way through my Project 365 year? Look, 36 pictures for 36 days, and I haven’t missed one yet!
Project 365:  one-tenth of the way done!

1. 1:365 Snowglobe, 2. 2:365 Peek!, 3. 3:365 The morning commute, 4. 4:365 Club soda, 5. 5:365 Lucas and me in the colander, 6. 6:365 Lego StarWars Family Portrait, 7. 7:365 Comfort food, 8. 8:365 Lucas in the morning light, 9. 9:365 Snowy night, 10. 10:365 Sunlight, snow and shadow, 11. 11:365 Coloured pencils, 12. 12:365 Snow removal crew, 13. 13:365 Happy Birthday Simon!, 14. 14:365 Icicles up high, 15. 15:365 Picture window, 16. 16:365 Icicles in the sun (3 of 4), 17. 17:365 Toes, 18. 18:365 Cornstalks in the snow, 19. 19:365 Happy Birthday, Lucas!, 20. 20:365 Friends and family at Lucas’s birthday breakfast, 21. 21:365 Winterlude on the Rideau Canal, 22. 22:365 Bored room, 23. 23:365 Melty, 24. 24:365 Vote for me!! Vote for me!!, 25. 25:365 Mooning the Peace Tower, 26. 26:365 Snack time!, 27. 27:365 Winter day at the park, 28. 28:365 Pest, 29. 29:365 Parliament in pink, 30. 30:365 Vote for our Mom!, 31. 31:365 President Obama’s afternoon motorcade, 32. 32:365 Me in the fancy elevator, 33. 33:365 Long exposure skating lessons, 34. 34:365 Poladroid Lucas, 35. 35:365 The artist at work, 36. 36:365 Mardi bokeh and the thief

There are two pictures of which I’m particularly fond this week. First, there’s this one of Tristan drawing, which he does with at least half of his free time each day. Lookit that free-hand star he just drew — I couldn’t do that with a template to follow! (He’s drawing Cosmo and Wanda from “Fairly Odd Parents.)

35:365 The artist at work

And I love this one, too. For a change, rather than simply finding inspiration in whatever was around me, I had taken the time to set up a light source and a background, and was playing with depth-of-field and focus to get some “bokeh” from these Mardi Gras beads… when suddenly the beads started disappearing! Sheesh, a girl can’t even take a picture without some random baby coming by to pilfer her subject. I couldn’t resist the two-fer composite shot:

36:365 Mardi bokeh and the thief

36 down, 329 to go… are y’all sick of Project 365 yet?


Dr Zap and 25,000 vasectomies

by DaniGirl on February 25, 2009 · 0 comments

in Infertility, Sideblog

Remember Dr Zap? Apparently he’s celebrating his 25,000th vasectomy today. He’s the most prolific infertilizer in Canada! Amusing article, worth the read. (Sheesh, had I known there’d be champagne we could have held out another couple of months!)


Free coffee!

by DaniGirl on February 24, 2009 · 2 comments

in Consumer culture, Sideblog

This is a clever promotion. Bring your losing “please play again” cup from Timmy’s Roll Up the Rim to Win contest to a Country Style and they’ll give you a free medium coffee. Free coffee! Woot!


A week or two ago, I blogged about an interactive widget from CBC.ca that compares national daycare costs. If you’re curious, the follow-up article from CBC is here. (Title = “Rising costs, waiting lists frustrate parents.” No kidding?


Poladroid: retro photo fun

24 February 2009 How I love the Interwebs

The internet really is full of a lot of crap, yanno? For all the great things you can say about the internet — the wonderful information and connections and ideas and whatnot — mostly it’s just a giant time sink, massively full of drivel through which you have to wade hip-deep for days before you […]

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Ah well, thanks anyway…

23 February 2009 How I love the Interwebs

Congratulations to Katrina of Fickle Feline, winner of Mabel’s Labels “send a blogger to BlogHer” contest! Her award-winning entry is terrific, she seems like a lovely person, and I’m genuinely thrilled that she won. Although I no doubt made a pest of myself with my multi-media campaign to garner your votes, I have to admit […]

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Plan B, six months later

23 February 2009 It IS all about me

Wow, it’s hard to believe that it’s been just over six months since I started my “Plan B” weight-loss plan. (And, for goodness sake, did none of you think to mention at the time that “Plan B” is a morning after pill as well? It took me months to figure out the google traffic!) Anyway, […]

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Stephen King disses Stephenie Meyer

21 February 2009 Books

Y’all know I pretty much worship the pages Stephen King writes upon. And I’ll admit that I got pretty well sucked in by the first book of the Twilight series, while gradually losing my enthusiasm through the next three. But I found the idea of a Stephen King smackdown of Stephenie Meyer particularly delicious. Apparently […]

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